Saturday, May 4, 2013

Re-Turning Early Work On Loan

"Yellow Roses"
Watercolor - 15" x 11"

A number of years ago I lent a painting to a friend who was just starting out in a new apartment.    As the years passed he lived with and loved the painting, but now he was moving to a new city and opening a new business, and establishing a truly minimalist lifestyle, and so he returned the painting to me.  I was happy to see it again – to see it with fresh eyes – and to remember what it was like to paint it.  “Yellow Roses” was the first of a series of five paintings of the same bouquet of yellow roses, capturing the various stages of the bouquet’s life.  I remember noticing that even as I painted the buds in this bouquet they were opening.   So by the time the painting was completed at the end of the session, neither the canvas nor the buds were as they had been hours earlier. But that is to be expected, isn’t it?  Buds open.  The paper gets paint on it.  And I was not attempting to capture a moment on paper; I was just trying to understand the beauty before me.

As I look at the painting now, with the hindsight of the paintings that followed, I am struck by the fact that they are just buds beginning to open.  Now I can see them as an apt metaphor for the creative process. 


  1. This reminds me of times I would set a poem aside and when I came back to it I read what it was saying rather than what I imagined it to say.

  2. Yes, Margaret. It's like re-reading a favorite novel. We see it years later with new eyes - new knowledge - and our familiarity with what we saw before gives way to what we were unable to see before.